Ukrainian fighter pilot: ‘Russians have a lot of losses’
Russia has sustained heavy losses in the war and has still not gained complete control over the airspace in Ukraine, a Ukrainian fighter jet pilot told CNN on Monday.
The pilot, referred to only by his nickname, “Juice,” told anchor Anderson Cooper that “Russians have a lot of losses” nearly a month into the campaign.
Russia has more control over the skies than Ukraine because of limited air defenses but they have yet to dominate the airspace, the pilot added.
“They have a fear of our air defenses,” Juice said. “They couldn’t gain air superiority in our skies.”
Officials have predicted that Russia’s war in Ukraine is nearing a stalemate because neither side can gain an edge over the other.
Russian forces have bombarded Mariupol and Kharkiv — two sizable cities in Ukraine — but have failed to win any strategic points, and thousands of Russian troops are said to have been killed in the offensive.
Ukraine is successfully fighting off the invaders but has endured heavy attacks on multiple fronts. Fighting has broken out in the nation’s capital of Kyiv, a strategically significant area in the country.
As fighting drags on, Russia has resorted to deploying high-precision weapons, including hypersonic missiles, to attack Ukrainian facilities and vehicles.
Juice told Cooper that about 90 percent of the damage to Ukrainian communities is conducted by aircraft or missile strikes.
While the U.S. and NATO have given financial and military aid to Ukraine, the military alliance has thus far declined to impose a no-fly zone in the country, citing fears it could spark a larger conflict between the West and Russia.
Juice said that, as a fighter pilot, he’s given information about targets from command and then flies out to intercept and attack. He’s committed to defending his nation.
“It’s just my job, I was trained for this,” he told CNN. “I was ready for this war.”